THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS


Learning From Mistakes In Order to Mature

by Andrew Ha
Twelfth Grade, Developing Virtue Secondary Boys' School
Speech Given at the CTTB Buddha Hall on May 10, 2010

My name is Andrew Ha and I am currently a senior at the Developing Virtue Boy's School. Tonight I came to talk about my experiences that dramatically changed my life while attending the Developing Virtue Secondary School. I have been in this school for 5 years of my life and I believe that everyday comes with a new experience.

I started to attend the Developing Virtue Boy's School while I was in 8th grade. When I started to live in CTTB I was faced with a difficulty, my parents were no longer by my side telling me what was right or what was wrong. Since my parents were not here, I knew that I needed to grow up and mature.

There was one difficulty that I would never forget, and that happened in 2006, a month before graduation. My older fellow student who was a good friend of mine was in serious trouble for breaking certain school rules. At that time I knew the wrong things he was doing but I was too afraid to confront him and tell him what he was doing was wrong. That cost him his diploma and his scholarship to college. I was also close to getting into big trouble for knowing what he did and not telling the teachers, but fortunately the teachers forgave me without any punishment. I was devastated by the recent event but from then on I knew that I needed to learn to confront people.

The next major difficulty I faced was when I was in 11th grade. I broke the dorm rule of bringing an iPod and that had major consequences. I was kicked out of all extracurricular activities for the whole semester and had community service to do everyday after school. I also lost the trust of various teachers and was in no position to be a leader.

When the teachers told me of my punishment I was shocked that breaking the rule of having an iPod would be so severe. I knew I did something wrong but was it that bad? I was mad at the school for a month or so until I realized the severity of my mistake. At that time I was a big influence in the dorm and my actions were watched constantly by teachers but that was not the big deal, it was the students, I was being a bad role model to the younger and older students which was the biggest mistake.

The point of our school is not just about studies, it's about the person you become in the future. You could be a smart student but even some smart people don't know how to be a good person. From this particular experience I learned that I sometimes need to step back and reflect upon my actions, even if I did nothing wrong, still step back and contemplate your actions.

I will never forget these experiences because they gave me many opportunities to change and taught me to reflect upon my actions. I learned that I need to be brave when confronting people and I sometimes need to step back and contemplate on what I've done. These experiences have changed me to become a more mature person. I am proud to tell everyone that next month I will graduate from the school that changed me most, the Developing Virtue Secondary School.

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